Thailand, “The land of smiles” has something to offer for everybody. Tropical islands, luxury modern shopping centers, ancient cities, hill tribes, countless Buddhist temples to name a few.
The capital Bangkok
Most tourists arrive in Bangkok, a bustling city with more than ten million inhabitants. This city has so much to offer, a holiday could easily be spend just here. Modern shopping malls with brands like Versace and Gucci, high rise bank and condo buildings, small local markets, endless dining options and nightlife, romantic dinner cruises on the Chao Phraya river and much more.
Not far from the capital Bangkok are interesting and charming places like Damnoen Saduak floating market where the old ways of buying and selling fruits and vegetables can be observed, and the famous bridge over the river Kwai, that featured in several movies.
At around four hours drive South of Bangkok you will find a relaxed atmosphere, pristine quiet beaches and small Thai fisherman villages where life is still what is has been for centuries.
The island of Phuket is just an hour away by airplane. This is the biggest island of Thailand and is has all the facilities one could wish for; five star hotels, luxury spas, lots of fine Thai and European dining options, golf courses and many water sports activities.
Pattaya, famous for its nightlife, is just an hour away from Bangkok’s airport. Here you will find endless rows of bars, massage salons, discothèques and restaurants as well as a long sandy beach with water sports as parasailing, jet ski, snorkeling as well as go-karting, cooking classes, spas and some of the finest golf courses in Thailand.
Golden triangle & hill tribes
The northern provinces are the home of several hill tribes that migrated to Thailand over a hundred years ago. Each tribe has its own language, religion, culture and unique colorful style of costume. Many of the hill tribe villages can be visited where you will be able to see their traditional way of life, which is still largely preserved.
The province of Chiang Rai is home to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar come together. This area was once the infamous center of opium poppy growing in the region. Now it is a lovely place on the Mekong river where you can enjoy cruising a long tail boat viewing the Thai and Laos villages.
Water parks and fun parks
Across Thailand are numerous water parks, fun parks and theme parks where both young and old will have a good time. Dream World is Bangkok’s largest amusement park with thrill seekers can try try roller coasters and other spectacular rides. Children will enjoy observing animals from across the world of the drive through safari as well as the dolphins and other sea animals at Safari World & Marine Park.
Thailand has a very rich history and culture. It houses numerous magnificent historical sites and temples in various architectural styles.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and walls covered with mural paintings telling the story of the Thai version of the epic Ramayana and the magnificent Marble Temple are a must see.
In the ancient city of Ayutthaya traces of European presence can still be found today. This city was once one of the most prosperous and biggest cities in the world thanks to its trading with European, Asian and Arab countries.
Further away from Bangkok is Sukhothai, dating back to the 13th century, which was the capital of the first independent Thai Kingdom. Close by are the historical parks Si Satchanalai and Kamphaeng Phet, that were both sister cities of Sukhothai. All three parks are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Khmer temples in Thailand
During the height of its power, the Khmer empire controlled most of Thailand. They built a huge number of impressive Khmer temples across the country that can still be seen today, in various states of preservation.
Sports & adventure
Those who are ready for an adrenaline rush after seeing some of the sites and enjoying the beach, try a skydive or enjoy the thrills of the wild rivers rafting in the unspoiled, natural environment of the North. Other sports include golf, kiteboarding and rock climbing.
Thailand with children
Thailand is probably not the first country that comes to mind planning a holiday with children. Although visiting temples or ancient cities would not rank high on most children’s wish list, there are lots of things to do that they will enjoy. Apart from the many long sandy beaches around the country, destinations as Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya house amusement parks, zoos and water parks where kid will enjoy themselves.
Classes & Courses
Thailand is known for its delicious and healthy food. Varying from mild to very spicy, the Thai kitchen has something for everyone’s taste like Thom Kha Kai (coconut soup with chicken), Khao Pat (fried rice) or Phanaeng curry. To still enjoy Thai food once back at home, take a Thai cooking class and learn some of the secrets of the Thai kitchen.
Most visitors to Thailand will try a relaxing massage at least once during their stay. With its history of 2,500 years of massage, Thailand is a great place to learn the techniques of Thai massage. Traditional Thai massage classes can be taken at several schools around the country.
News on Thailand
An excellent source of info on Thai news, food, lifestyle and more is the online version of the Bangkok Post.